Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 1025–1034 | Cite as

Predictors of Parent-Reported Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children Aged 6–7 years: A National Longitudinal Study

  • Emma SciberrasEmail author
  • Obioha C. Ukoumunne
  • Daryl Efron


This study examined the prenatal, postnatal and demographic predictors of parent-reported attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in an Australian population-based sample. Participants were families participating in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. There were approximately even numbers of males (51%) and females (49%) in the sample. Predictors of parent-reported ADHD status at Wave 2 (children aged 6–7 years) which were measured at Wave 1 (children aged 4–5 years) included cigarette smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy (prenatal factors); maternal postnatal depression, intensive care at birth, birth weight, and gestation (postnatal factors); and child gender, primary caregiver education, income, family composition, and maternal age at childbirth (socio-demographic factors). We found that male gender, cigarette smoking during pregnancy, and maternal postnatal depression were the only significant predictors (at the 5% level) of ADHD in the adjusted analysis (N = 3,474). Our results are consistent with previous findings that male gender and cigarette smoking during pregnancy are risk factors for ADHD. In addition, we found that postnatal depression was predictive of parent-reported ADHD.


Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity Risk factors Environment Child 



This article uses confidential unit record files from the LSAC survey. The LSAC project was initiated and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs and was managed by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. The findings and views reported in this article are those of the authors and should not be attributed to either the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs or the Australian Institute of Family Studies. We thank all the families participating in the LSAC study. Dr Sciberras’s work on this project was funded by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Dr Ukoumunne’s position was funded by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Population Health Capacity Building Grant (436914) for the duration of this manuscript’s preparation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Sciberras
    • 1
    Email author
  • Obioha C. Ukoumunne
    • 2
  • Daryl Efron
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre for Community Child HealthMurdoch Childrens Research InstituteParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.PenCLAHRC, Peninsula College of Medicine and DentistryUniversity of ExeterExeterUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Centre for Community Child HealthRoyal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  4. 4.Murdoch Childrens Research InstituteParkvilleAustralia
  5. 5.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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